Daily Archives: May 5, 2015

Mental Health Month Alert!: STIGMA SHIRTS

I’ve been thinking of a way to give back to mental illness organizations and to help fund a little to the BUL blog, so I can start doing more for our mental health community and well…

I’ve made T-shirts!

1bulblogshirt

The shirts are going to 20.00 and half the proceeds will go to the charity of YOUR choose-voting style! I’m going to start selling them starting now until the end of August. If there enough people that want them, I will continue to sell them. I’m really excited to be selling something cool, that spreads a message, and you can use as a bed shirt if you want and know your sleeping with a good cause!

If your interested in a shirt email [email protected]


Under Siege 2:Dark Anxieties

(Okay, much as I don’t like Steven Seagal, I am indeed on an Under Siege kick, as the first movie is one of my all time faves and the second one was visual excrement.)

Plus, when panxiety hits this hard, it is a lot like being under siege.

I was on the way to pick up my kid and the road was bumpy but of course, all the sunlight and noise and traffic had set off the fight or flight receptors so…Bam. Must have  flat tire. Or two. Or three. Nothing I told myself could ease the panic. Logic is persona non grata. As I was forcing myself to venture into a store for much needed food supply (and a store where I spent probably ten bucks more than the normal place I go, all to avoid large spaces and crowds and this is NOT in my genetic make up, at all. The anxiety is making me insane.) R sent another text. And it was snotty.

Much as it irked me, I decided I should just face the narcissist. (Or is that music?)  had 15 mins before spawn time and didn’t want to spend it in a hot car so I ran by the shop. And before he could lambaste me beyond “Where the hell have you been and why don’t you answer your phone-.”

Cut him off and said, “I’ve got shit of my own going on, if you didn’t blow me off for three days at a time.”

Shut up him. Then he launched into broken shit and a tirade when I told him one vendor wasn’t going to refund his money on a bum part because the return police was 14 days and he waited over 30. Which sent him into a rant about how he had other things to do than mess with it immediately and I’m gonna write him a bad review and his policies are bullshit…

Typical spoiled brat R-sole. But he offered to bring me Mangoritas if I play whipping girl (or let him bounce ideas off me, and wth, better his money on booze than mine, and god if I ain’t a class act but hey…When your anti anxiety meds ain’t working, alcohol will and it gives you a bonus of sleep without hangover if you indulge moderately.Plus, R and I both become more tolerable with a drink or two. Sad ain’t it.)

I started hyperventilating on the way back home. Just…too much overload and I remembered my kid has her reading reward program tonight at the main school gym and ugh, this is not the day I am well equipped to deal with noise and crowds and I can’t flake out on my kid but….ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

I think this is why I get so bent when people have the audacity to ask how my mental illnesses affect me having a normal life.

They affect everything right down to whether I can bathe or eat or even step out the front door.

And it doesn’t matter how hard I try to beat it…it just beats me back.

What’s one more round of defeat, provided I can avoid projectile vomiting on my kid’s little friends and their parental units.

 


My Answers to Marya Hornbacher’s Questions

I love lazily copying and pasting content I’ve written elsewhere and repurposing it as a blog post. Once again, I post my answers to Marya Hornbacher‘s follow-up survey questions about whether I see mental illness as a physical disease: Do you consider…

Blitzkrieg

I feel nothing but broken -- but I cannot hide, because the battle's all inside.

NoDak: Early Spring (haiku)

Old cultivator rusts against a tree-bare sky; green creeps up the hill.Filed under: haiku, poems Tagged: haiku, North Dakota, rural

Personal Space

personal space

Before I get going on my post today, I wanted to let you all know that I am looking for guest bloggers. It’s pretty simple to guest blog…all you have to do is write a post, e-mail it to me and I post it…..crediting you of course.

If you are a new blogger, this might be an excellent way to get your name out there. If you are an established blogger, we can all benefit from your knowledge and it might be fun.

Since this is a mental health blog, I expect most guest blogs will deal with these issues, but I know my readers are flexible. It never hurts to have some good recipes, beautiful photography, or some poetry.

If you’d like to talk about doing a guest blog, please e-mail me at [email protected]

I will help you every step of the way till we get your post just right…how YOU want it to be.

If you’re too busy now, this is an open invitation. Contact me when the time is right for you.

I am also looking for topics. I always have plenty, but if there is something you’d like to hear about, shoot me an e-mail.

Okay, for today’s post:

To what extent is your blog a place for your own self expression and creativity vs. a site designed to attract readers? How do you balance that? If sticking to certain topics and types of posts meant your readership would triple, would you do it?

Wow, I guess I’d have to go back to the beginning of my blog. I was on a psychology site…you know the kind where they have topics and threads of people answering them. I noticed that a great poster bpnurse.com had her own blog. I asked her about doing one. I didn’t really know what a blog was, but it sounded like it fit in with journaling, which everyone insists you do when you are mentally ill.

I set up my blog which was a miracle as I am totally computer illiterate. But it wasn’t too hard. I had no idea what followers or stats were. As a matter of fact, I thought I might get one or two readers. I was doing this anonymously so I couldn’t invite friends and family to read. I sort of thought I could use this as an online diary.

And blog I did. I wrote about all kinds of “fascinating” things. If you don’t believe they were lame, check the archives. But I sort of fell into a rhythm and came up with some good topics. I still didn’t have many readers, but that was okay by me.

I remember the excitement when I got my first comment! It was pretty thrilling. I think it was from someone bpnurse knew. Her readers were very friendly and tried to get me going. (They are still some of my most faithful readers today.)

Now I started picking up followers. If you’re a new blogger you might wonder how I did this. Honestly, there is no secret. You’ve got to be a friend to gain followers. You’ve got to get people over to your blog to read your stuff. And the way I did this was one at a time….reading their blog and commenting. Pretty soon, they’d show up on mine and read. I guess some of them liked it and followed. That was how it worked for me. I would read ANY kind of blog….it didn’t need to be mental health. And you know what? I still have such a good time today reading other blogs. It never gets old.

When I started writing I wrote for myself. I just sort of talked about what was going on in my life. I also posted some old fiction I had written. So I got the creativity bug from that. I never really thought about what my readers wanted to read…I figured if they liked it they’d read and if they didn’t they’d skip it. And I had so few followers it really wasn’t an issue. But as time went on, I realized I had an audience out there.

I think one thing I started writing about was stigma. I wanted to do what I could to help slow it down. And if that meant telling some of my crazy stories of bipolar that was okay. I think it helped people to see that a “regular” person could survive and even thrive with mental illness. And that we look and live a lot like other people.

I’d like to think that my site is designed to attract readers. That doesn’t mean that I spend all of my writing time thinking about what readers want, because I don’t. But I DO try to make my site accessible to people who want to read. I’ve worked hard on the look of the blog. I like that when you open my blog, you get the latest post right up in your face. You don’t have to click around six times to find something to read. I’ve tried not to have too much “junk” on the page. It’s not the best blog I’ve seen, but it’s definitely an improvement over when I started.

Yesterday we gained our 900th follower! That feels like some responsibility I can tell you! That’s a clump of people looking to me for something about bipolar and recovery. But I just give you guys what I have. Anecdotes about my life and stories of my successes and failures. I try to be as honest as I can and the anonymous nature of the blog lets me do that.

So if I could guarantee three times the readership would I change my posts to fit the audience? I think it would be fun to have three times the readers, although I am pretty happy with the readership I have. But I’m not sure how I would change my writing to fit the audience. I am hoping that the readers are here because they like what they have read so far. And I just hope to keep producing enough pieces of life to keep you all around.

Under Siege- Anxiety

Oh, yes, it’s that lovely time of my crazy cycle where my anxiety skyrockets. Phone calls, texts. IGNORED. I cannot cope at this particular moment. But then I sit here drowning in guilt for not being able to suck it up and just deal. And since it’s just a so called friend calling wanting me to drop everything to amuse him in his boredom, I should be allowed to be guilt free for nursing my bucket of crazy. But nooo, even that causes anxiety. And I am wondering if it’s tied to the Latuda which I took an hour ago and not even the Xanax is dulling the panic so maybe the insert was right and it is heightening my anxiety.
I don’t even fucking know.

The city checks the storm alarm at the beginning of every month.
Today it goes off and it seems louder than usual, seems to last longer. It’s perfectly sunny and clear out and my panicked ass is on Google, checking current weather conditions for some sort of tornado alert. Before the result even comes up, I am freaking out, thinking, I need to go get my kid. No, wait, they have a safe space for the kids, l live in a damned trailer…
Why oh why does it have to be the crazy panic? The “out of control logic can fuck off” panic that I nor meds can reason with?

And I’ve had it up to here with all the positive thought bullshit. I can no more talk myself out of these bad bouts than one can talk themselves out of the flu and avoid puking. They don’t get shit for being weak, they don’t have to feel guilty.
It’s not that I hate my life, or even myself.
I hate mental illness with every fiber of every being on the goddamn planet.
No one should have to live this way and yet, so many of us do.
I try to take comfort in knowing I’m not alone and yet when it comes to the people around…I’m less than alone. The only support I have is on the internet, which of course I am told is wrong because I’m being anti social and self isolating rather than pursuing a support system.
Yeah, what I need support for is the one thing people dismiss.
“Hi, my name is Niki and I am pretty sure the world is out to get me today and I am terrified like Freddy Kruger is chasing me, wanna be my friend?”

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck.
The mood levels, the anxiety goes up.
The anxiety levels, the mood goes to shit.
And meanwhile I am in this guilt ridden panic stricken limbo.
And I shouldn’t have to be, especially with a friend, who should be decent enough to understand mental health days are not optional, they are as mandatory as needing to use the bathroom. Biological function, mental misfires…It’s just as legit.
Besides which it pisses me off to be expected to drop everything and be on call for someone who completely uses me then blows me off then reappears when he’s bored and wants entertained. Bullfuckingshit.
Just because he’s been “good” to me as far as feeding my cigarette and Mangorita addictions, and yeah, he fixes my car…
What happened to being a friend, not just someone with some extra money to blow? What happened to a comforting hug or shoulder squeeze or shutting the fuck up and LISTENING? Or letting someone rant or cry if it’s what they need at the time. Or just not being a total shitheel who’s so narcissistic they think others are there for their useage only.
I’m spiraling out of control here. Panic does that to a person.
But I am scared of nothing, and the physical symptoms are there, and the guilt is strangling me and I am fucking pissed off, too. My addictions get fed with this friendship with R and yet my soul is fucking starving to death because it gets nothing.
I am supposed to accept “that’s just all he’s willing to give, you won’t get what you need from this friendship.”
I am not wrong to want to get what I give.
And if this is what I am reduced to, I’d rather have no friends.
Clown shoes.
I will come out of it but for now…anxiety has abducted me, and has me tied to a chair in a dungeon of dank darkness and I am prisoner.

If that’s insanity, then I guess I am insane in the membrane.
(God I hate that fucking song)
((How many blasphemies did I just commit in that one sentence?))
((((Riiight, I don’t mean to offend others but I also don’t subscribe to the “bad words will make you rot in hell” theory. I am already rotting in hell, in my 42nd year now, and it’s called mental ass trash fucking illness.))))


Music, Dance, & Beer: Doncaster Folk Festival

Festival headliners "The Young'uns

Festival headliners “The Young’uns”

The latest in the occasional series “Arty Donny” takes in the 2015 Doncaster Folk Festival. I spoke to local musician Mick Jenkinson.

Doncaster Folk Festival has been going awhile, now. Is it 10 years?

I have been involved for four years, so I rely on others for information before then. I believe this is either the eighth, or the ninth. I need to find that out, don’t I?

Yep! When is it? It’s moved about a bit. I seem to remember it being in March for a few years.

Yes, it was much earlier in the year when it started, but I guess it was too far removed from the traditional festival season. We have settled on the weekend before the Spring Bank Holiday, so this year we are 15th – 17th May.

The Jon Palmer Band

The Jon Palmer Acoustic  Band

And where is the festival? Are you back at the Ukranian Centre? What about the ceilidh?

The main music venue is The Ukrainian Centre on Beckett Road: a lovely, intimate, and welcoming concert hall with great lights, and sound. The Saturday night ceilidh is at The Deaf Trust College on Leger Way opposite the race course.

I always enjoy the dancers: one year, there were even some children’s Morris sides. It was great, they had such fun. How many sides can we expect to see this year, and where will they be dancing?

We have been working really hard at building it up over the past couple of years, and the Day of Dance has become an important part of the weekend. This year we have the biggest Festival of Traditional Dance ever held in Doncaster, with 11 dance teams: that’s over 100 dancers.

They will be kicking off at 10:30am on Saturday 16 May at four sites across the town: The Market Place, High Street, Priory Walk and Waterdale, and then concluding with an ensemble finale in the beautiful surroundings of the new Sir Nigel Gresley Square at around 3.30pm. It will be quite a spectacle.

Murder at the Seaside

Murder at the Seaside

I’ve seen some smashing acts at past Donny Folk Fests: my favourite was Les Barker, who is a marvelously entertaining poet, and humourist. Who’s on the bill this year?

We have to start by mentioning our Saturday night headliners, The Young’uns, as they are just about the hottest thing on the folk circuit right now. They have received a host of awards this year but the one everyone is talking about was the BBC Radio Folk Band of the Year. They have been selling out across the country, so it is obviously a real coup to get them to Donny.

Headlining Friday is The Jon Palmer Acoustic Band, a terrific festival band who took the roof off when they played our showcase concert back in March.

We always aim at a balance of the old and the new, traditional and contemporary, high energy stuff with the more contemplative. It is central to what we do to present the breadth of what folk, roots and acoustic music represents. All the artist details and line-ups are on the Festival website.

John Conolly and ....

John Conolly and Rob Van Sante

I understand that the Notorious Aardvark Record Shop is taking part this year. Are you keen to add new venues?

The Notorious Aardvark is curating the Saturday afternoon stage at the Ukrainian, so they have put together that line-up for us. Alistair Pearson, Mr Junior Aardvark, will be MC and is also performing: he is a terrific songwriter.

Alistair Pearson

Alistair Pearson

But yes, we are keen to stage events elsewhere in the town, and also to invite venues to stage their own ‘Folk Festival Week’ events. We have a musicians’ session on Friday the 15th at the Deaf Trust, a mixed session – musicians and singers – on Saturday the 16th afternoon at The Brewery, and then later that day another more singaround-based one in the Salutation pub hosted by our ceilidh band Alterego: that one should get going around 3.00pm.

On Sunday 17th, the afternoon is given over to the traditional “survivors’ session” in the Masons Arms, which again is singers and players and always a terrific atmosphere, even for folks who only come to listen.

Ginny Mule

Ginny Mule

Talk to me about the Word … the “Spoken Word” event, that is, which I understand kicks off the festival on the Thursday (14 May) at a new venue, Doncaster Brewery Tap. Which isn’t a new venue for “Spoken Word”, but is for the festival. If you know what I mean. (Please, explain what I mean!)

Our ‘Well Spoken!’ Event at The Brewery is held on the second Thursday of each month, so as it falls on Festival week, it was natural to include it in the Festival calendar.

Naomi Bedford

Naomi Bedford

Steve Turner

Steve Turner

I have included poetry on the festival stages previously, so it is not such a radical move, and there does seem to be a natural fit between the two forms. Well Spoken! is an open-mic format poetry/prose evening which has been running for six months now, and has proved a huge success. To make the most of the tie-in with festival week we have our first ever guest performer. Steve Ely, a published poet and also an acknowledged expert on Ted Hughes, will be the featured artist for the evening. All are welcome, performers and listeners, and it’s free!

So, how do I go about getting a ticket? I’m free on the Friday, can I get a day ticket? And are there weekend tickets available, too?

There is every combination of ticket for the Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening concert sets, and the ceilidh, too. They are all available here or, alternatively, for those who live locally, call Derek on 01302 328756 or call in at the Ukrainian Centre.

What about the out of towners, who prefer to camp, rather than stay in one of Donny’s wide selection of hotels, and B & Bs? Is there camping again this year?

Camping is at The Deaf Trust as usual, and the facilities are excellent: we are constantly complimented on them. The site is 20 minutes’ walk from The Ukrainian Centre, and the same to the town centre. It is also on a main bus route. Camping tickets and hook-ups are available here.

Last but not least, tell us about the beer. Because a folk festival without beer is like a fancy handbag without a chihuahua.

Yes, if folks are joining us for the weekend, we need to keep them sustained. The Ukrainian Centre keeps an excellent pint, and will have a rotating selection from Grafters, Welbeck Abbey, Leeds, and Acorn Breweries with, of course, our own Doncaster Brewery taking centre stage. They are even producing a new brew for us titled FestivAle. And, needless to say, the pubs in the town that are host ing our sessions and singarounds have been selected for their commitment to quality beer, too!

Oh, and we can’t finish without mentioning the food on offer at the Ukrainian Centre. Our in-house catering is legendary, and will feature a selection of stews, curries, pies, and no doubt some menu items I have not been told about yet, all served with wonderful home baked bread.

Thanks for your time, Mick. See you at the festival!

Mick Jenkinson in full musical flow: the Notorious Aardvark, Yule 2014

Mick Jenkinson in full musical flow: the Notorious Aardvark, Yule 2014

All photos courtesy the artists, except for the one of Mick Jenkinson, which was taken by myself.

Child Polar

(Somehow this turned into a long winded rant, feel free to disregard, it’s just spewage.)

Yesterday was a much needed breather from people and dish. Which is weird because I barely saw anyone Sunday but I am just that easily overloaded. I stayed home, watched Weeds some more, actually cleaned part of my crumbling bathroom floor but only because I needed to move the towel rack so I could fix the chain on the decrepit toilet. Now there’s a hole in the floor that is going to give out and introduce our feet to the dirt beneath.
I still remember when the donor was about and all his whining: “I work a job that barely supports me, let alone my kid, I live in a place that’s falling apart so I spend all my time fixing things…”

Oh, fucking call a whaambulance, bitch.

Toilet broke, I fix it. Floor falling in? I get a piece of wood to reinforce it and put a rug over it. I don’t sit around whining like a little bitch about it. Because I have far better things to whine like a bitch about. And frankly, three bedrooms, two full baths, water and trash included for $375 a month, I’m thankful to have my little shithole. I saw places out in Hollywood that were one room and you shared a bathroom with ten others on that floor and it was over a grand a month.

I think the donor was just a spoiled little bitch boy.

Yes, of all the things I could still hold a grudge over, his whining is the winner. That and him bragging out a 187 IQ yet after he left, I changed batteries in the smoke alarms and turns out, the one by the back room I had him take care of…He’d put double AA batteries where a 9volt was called for. Because it didn’t have the little thingie 9 volts hook up to (shit breaks) so hey, let’s stuff the wrong batteries in then be all arrogant about how we did one little chore.

Ya know, I don’t even know why I am on about this. I don’t even think of him much and generally not at all unless my kid brings it up or my idiot father has to fill me in the on the latest donor siting or gossip. Which I wish he’d stop doing because gossip from a man pushing 70 is just asinine.

I think it was precipitated yesterday by my kid declaring, “Mommy, you need a man. To have sex with.”

Considering I have few friends, fewer I actually let in the door for conversation, it’s obvious she’s hearing this stuff from the shows/videos I watch when she’s SUPPOSED to be sleeping. Bloody hell. I thought one night at midnight it’d be safe to do this playlist and it had Gnarl’s Barkley’s “Cos I got high” on it…Oh my snowflake was still awake hovering in her room until she burst out and started singing along and declaring I LOVE THIS SONG.

Fuck. Mom of the year I guess I am not.

So now my kid knows songs about getting high (which I don’t do cos it really makes me stupid but stoner humor is kinda funny) and is telling me I need a sex life. Yay.

Last week, though, she was telling me I needed a boyfriend so she could have a dad that lives with us and will play with her. And even without my coaching she specifically said “NOT (insert donor’s name here)”.

If he ever does become interested in seeing her, he’s going to think I turned her against him. Which I’ve purposed tried not to do. I gave her a picture of her “dad”. I tell her things about him, like where he was born, etc etc, her half siblings…But she hears the adults refer to him as (given name) and now that’s how she sees him. Road to hell was paved with good intentions.

But yeah, damn. My kid is telling me I need to get a sex life. What the actual fuck. Of course, I can’t blame myself entirely because last summer one of neighbor girls took her out behind the shed and told her they should have sex. Which Spook ran and reported to me and I was flabbergasted because that girl was four years old. Jebus.

These are the kids being raised by parents who don’t want them playing at my house with my kid because (I hear she’s a lesbian) (She wears black and worships satan) (her house is filthy) (her kid has lice). Seriously? Most of my neighbors are the dregs of society raising the next gen of nasty little bullies.

I was, however, impressed with one dad and kid last night. The boy has been playing with Spook and yesterday he spazzed out and punched her in the eye then ran off. I was out yelling like a crazy woman as my kid screamed bloody murder. “Who the fuck raises a kid to punch a girl????” I was pissed and didn’t even know what unit number the family was in so I could go rage. I was furious and I stewed and she bawled.

And then came a knock on the door. The little boy, with his father. And at first, I thought it was going to be a repeat where their kids get to be thugs and me standing up for my kid made me the bitchbeast they were gonna beat down (it’s happened a few times.) Instead, I ask the boy, “You the one that punched my daughter?” And he said yeah. And his dad said, “Now you apologize to that little girl, you know better than this and you are still in trouble with me.”

Later, the boy came back with a big bag of Haribou gummi bears for Spook. Wow, I don’t even spring for the brand name shit. (I ate all the pineapple bears cos those are the only ones I like and yes, I took candy from my baby, don’t judge me.)

It was just nice, for a change, to find a parent in this godforsaken hood, who’s not okay with their kid being a feral little fuck. The dad was apologetic, obviously embarrassed, and had the decency to come to our door and make the kid apologize. It was…different. And also good because Spook was excited to have a new friend and I was happy for her so I hope they can get along. Seems her friend C is in his “girls are icky” phase and some others kids were teasing him that Spook is his girlfriend and he just freaked out and hit her. (I remember being a weird little kid, too.) Just nice that a parent held their kid accountable. Couple years back one of the devil girls was stealing my mail and I sent the cops to their door and the parents didn’t even apologize or return my mail.

Not everyone sucks. I guess.

Though my kid pulled her own stunt with me. One minute she was telling me I am gorgeous, best mom  ever…Then I watch some Weird Al videos and “Fat” comes up and she says, “Look, mommy, they look like you!”

Um…I think not. I am not that big. Rude. Then came the worst mother ever stuff. Followed by love love love.

And I started thinking…what if this isn’t fickle childhood? What if she’s already showing little blips of bipolar? The bouncing off walls happy, the sudden tears, the rages where she takes swings at me…I don’t want to label her and maybe I am transferring or some shit but…Child polar. It’s something I need to watch out for considering mental illness runs on both sides of the family and even the donor spent time in a psych ward following a suicide attempt. Of course, others would see it, too, right? Rarely does she act that way for others, or at least, not that I am told. Because they just see it as normal kid hijinks?

I just know had my parents been paying more attention rather than dismissive I might not have spent so long getting diagnosed, then getting correctly diagnosed.

Sigh.

Ughhh. R is texting me again.

He did the thing again last night, sent me a text, then never replied to my two returns texts. Seriously thinking he needs to fuck off. I’m up to my 20mg Latuda now, so I can claim insanity due to med change. Oh, wait, he expects me to be at his beck and call even when gushing blood and leaking gray matter. Idget.

I did call the shrink office yesterday and told them the Latuda at night is keeping me awake. They said to take it during the day, with food if it made me sick, and I said, well, someone told me it has to be with 300 calories min. or it won’t absorb…And they all acted like I was insane. WTF. If the doctors don’t even agree on the right way to take the shit for more effectiveness, how do the patients stand a chance?

Clown shoes.

I took the Latuda around six last night and I was asleep before 11. But I woke up four or five times during the night. The doctor seems to think as long as I can go back to sleep, it’s no big deal. Four years of it? It’s irritating and exhausting as fuck. Why for the love of pegacorns can they not create a sleeping pill that doesn’t give you comas and hangovers and shuffling zombie aftermaths?

Child polar. Is it possible she’s picking up the mood swings from me? I worry about this shit. And I worry more when I tell the doctor about the family history and they just blow it off. I don’t want to label my kid. But I am starting to freak out because her behavior reminds me of the mood cycles.

Then  again, most of the time it’s just five year old no filters rude honesty or being told the word no.

I dunno. Parenting for dummies didn’t help at all.

I guess I need parenting for less than dummies.

 

 

 

 


Dental Work

So today I follow up on the tooth that was hurting so badly.  It’s still a little sensitive, but not much.  I suppose if I tell them that, they will go ahead with the root canal.  I hate all dental procedures equally, so the root canal doesn’t hold any particular horror for me, but I sure wish they decide to hold off if they still can’t find anything on x-ray.  We will see.

Grading more papers today and tonight.  Not as frustrating as last time.  So that is a plus.  Sorry for the short post but I need to run to the dentist for my early appointment.  Have a good day!